World of Womankind

In the World of Womankind – March 12, 1914

In the 1910s, Frank Leslie’s Weekly had an increase in news by and about women. Kate Upson Clark* and the paper’s “In the World of Womankind” page is a good example. After sharing news tidbits from around the world, she would respond to letters from readers:


Dear Mrs. Clark: I am going abroad for a six-weeks’ trip. I take a steamer trunk, two suitcases and a hand-bag. Please advise me about what dresses to take. I have a good tailor-made suit, and a charmeuse (short) dinner-dress. Our party will travel, stopping only a few days in any one place. Is this enough? I shall have three or four blouses to wear with the skirt of my tailor-made gown.—L. B., Trenton, N. J.

That supply should serve for so short a trip. Take stout, comfortable shoes, and new underclothes.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.


Dear Mrs. Clark: How much do you think a woman with three small children, and whose husband has an income of about $2500 a year,—never more—ought to spend for her own clothes? We live in a large city.—Lucy D. Crane, St. Louis, Mo.

There is no rule. Some authorities say that a fifth of the income should be used for the clothing of the family. By good management, you could probably get all the clothing for yourself, your husband and children with the $500 this plan would allow you. Some years you would have to spend more; some, less. We would like to hear from our correspondents on this subject.


Dear Mrs. Clark: I wish you would say something about the way in which the relatives of a mother try often to prejudice children against a stepmother. We have had a shocking case in a town near us in which a family has been torn to pieces just from this cause. The stepmother did her best, but the children (eight and ten years old) made faces at her, would not mind, and told her that “their Aunt Sarah had said they might.” I have known of several cases like this.—X. Y. Z., Red Oak. Iowa.

Not only relatives, but much of our favorite literature for children tends to foster this wicked prejudice. The bad stepmother figures in many a fairy tale and other story and implants in little minds an antagonism that might otherwise never arise. Those of us who have had or have known saintly stepmothers deplore especially this time-long injustice. The stepmother has a hard lot at best Let us do nothing to make it worse.

* Catherine “Kate” Pickens Upson Clark (February 22, 1851 – February 18, 1935) wrote articles for Godey’s Lady’s Book, Atlantic Monthly, Christian Herald, and Harper’s magazine. She was an editor of the Springfield Republican, Good Cheer Magazine, and later the New York Evening Post. She published several books, short stories, and one novel. She was born in Camden, Alabama.

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